Lima, OH (Other Areas) Blizzard, Jan 1918
LIMA SUFFERS WORST ZERO COLD WAVE.
COMPLETE TIE UP OF RAIL LINES.
EVEN TAXICABS FOUCED TO SUSPEND WHILE MANY PERSONS ARE SEVERELY FROZEN.
STORES CLOSE AT 6 O'CLOCK AND MANY PEOPLE REMAIN DOWNTOWN ALL NIGHT.
Lima, Ohio -- WIth no promise of the worst blizzard in local history subsiding before tomorrow night the city has set in for another 48 hours of the coldest wave in the memory of Lima's oldest residents. The blizzard, which arrived during Friday night, was accompanied by a blinding snow late yesterday afternoon and evening, and walking was almost next to impossible. High winds from the north and west added to the suffering of those who found it necessary to be out of doors. The temperature at 1 o'clock this morning was only two degrees below zero. At 10 p.m. it was ten degrees below zero.
The Ohio Electric Railway found it necessary at 4:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon to withdraw all cars from the city street car lines. Only part service was afforded on the city lines throughout the day, because of the severity of the weather and the traffic amounted to little or nothing. It was mainly made up of men going to and from work.
All the stores in the city closed at 6 o'clock last evening so that employees would be able to reach their homes before a late hour. The closing was also done with a view to conserve fuel and lights, also because business did not warrant the extravagence.
In one store, the proprietor issued an order that heavy fur coats should be taken out of stock and given to the women employees so that they would not suffer so severely from the cold on the way home. The police patrols were put into service at 6 o'clock to convey clerks from the stores to their homes and scores were relieved from facing the blizzard thru this scheme. As the traffic amounted to little or nothing the manager of one of the largest stores in the city secured rooms at hotels for employees who had a distance to go. In another instance, the proprietor of a dry goods house secured taxicabs, by paying abnormal rates to take clerks in his store to their homes.
All the city taxi lines cut out service at noon yesterday, because their cars were unable to weather the blizzard. It is said over half of the taxi's belonging to local firms are in garages undergoing repairs as the result of work in the storm during yesterday morning.
The Garford Motor Truck plant, and the Lima Locomotive Works were compelled to suspend operations because not enough employees were able to reach the plants to warrant operation. It is stated that 80 per cent of the girl employees at the Garford were not able to reach the plant yesterday morning.
Not a wheel was turned on the D. T. & I. Railroad yesterday, and with the continuance of the blizzard today it is supposed the same program will necessarily continue. All trains coming to Lima are from four to 12 hours late. It was stated last night that eight trains had been stalled between this city and Ft. Wayne. Motive power in the B. and O. yards was practically tied up yesterday afternoon. Cars on the Ohio Electric and the Western Ohio electric lines ran only semi-occasionally throughout the day. There were comparatively few cars operated on either of the lines. Scores of traveling men have been attempting to continue on their route since yesterday morning and have been unable to leave the city because of the uncertainty of traffic.
An accommodation train on the Pennsylvania railway which left Lima at 10:05 yesterday morning stalled in the snow about one mile west of Elida. Unable to proceed in the drifts, a trailer was sent out from Lima, bringing the women passengers to Elida and the men back to this city.
As a result of the present conditions, there was no train service thru the night. There is a possibility of temporary suspension of trains on all roads operating thru Lima for the day. Five engines were required to put the "Manhattan Limited" one of the best passenger trains on the Pennsy route thru the snow yesterday en route to Chicago. Mail that should have left Lima yesterday is still laying at the depots.
No outside papers have been received in Lima for the past 24 hours. This includes Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo papers received here daily. News dealers in Lima were informed by wire last night that they need not look for any today.
Services in a number of Lima churches was suspended for today. Houses of worship closed include the First Congregational, the Market Street Presbyterian, First United Brethren, First Baptist and First Church of Christ Scientist.
Selective service boards were compelled to quit business at noon yesterday, because of being froze out of headquarters at Memorial hall. Police were given permission by Chief of Police Roush to make reports from the inside, because of the difficulty in reaching the central office thru the street boxes. The funeral of Levi Olinger, of west Robb avenue, which was to have been held yesterday afternoon will not be held until tomorrow because of the impossibility to reach Ashgrove cemetery where the interment is to be made.
O. B. Woods of Shaawnee township is among scores of farmers reporting heavy losses of live stock and poultry. The snow drifts on the Woods farm are eight feet deep in many instances with a crust that will hold up a man.
Men ate in restaurants with hats pulled down over their ears and overcoats collars up around their faces. A meal was cold before it could be eaten in several Lima restaurants. A prominent minister whose duties brought him out in the blizzard last night wore a set of furs belonging to his wife. A clerk in Well's shoe store tied a black sateen apron around his head and put his cap over it, to keep his ears from freezing.
At a special meeting last night the Inner club members passed a resolution to enter no complaints at newspaper offices in event morning papers were not delivered, and that in case of necessity they would assist in dellivery of papers. Eighty per cent of the Inner club members were at one time or other newsboys.
Approximately 150,000 calls were answered at the Lima Telephone exchange yesterday. The operators carried a record breaking load the entire day, beginning before 8 o'clock in the morning and continuing up until late at night. The slow response to calls at times, it was explained by the telephone management was due to the heavy traffic, the calls coming so rapidly, that regardless with the auto-manuel system in use, it was an impossibility to give quick service at all times.
The telephone company has in all probability the greatest system in use in the country. The heavy traffic is due to the fact that hundreds of people tranacted all necessary business over the telephone and the calls to private individuals because of the blizzard, was unusually heavy.
The full quota of operators reported for duty yesterday morning. Cots were secured and the lower floor of the exchange turned into a dormitory. Provisions were supplied and the girls did not leave the building at anytime during the day. Meals will be supplied today also by the company, eliminating all suffering of employees coming to and from work.
John A. Harrison, traffic manager, and O. A. Corson started to Middle Point over the Ohio Electric at 9 o'clock yesterday morning on wire trouble.
Before reaching Middlepoint the car stalled in the snow. After remaining in the car for several hours without heat, the 30 passengers left and walked a half mile to a farm house, where they were provided with shelter and food. An "SOS" message was sent to the Pennsylvania railroad offices at Van Wert and an engine and a caboose were sent out to bring in some of the half frozen passengers. It was possible only to take a part of them aboard the caboose, while some rode in the cab of the engine.
The Lima telephone men sent word that they did not know how soon they would be able to get back to this city. The other group of passengers who could not be taken on the caboose were those who were suffering the greatest from the cold and it was deemed advisable that they remain at the farm house until some way could be devised by which they could continue on their journey or return to Lima.
The Casualty List.
The most seriously affected persons yesterday are mentioned in the following casualty list:
EARL CRAWFORD, 12, carrier boy, found unconscious at 928 north West street; condition serious; taken to hospital.
HARRY LONG, 14, of 1179 Forest avenue, overcome by cold near Wapakoneta; taken into Wapakoneta; condition serious.
WILLILAM DONAVAN, 15, of 515 Second street, overcome near bonfire at Wapakoneta, while on trip to obtain coal.
CLARENCE SAUERS, 12, of 1215 St. Johns avenue, ears and feet badly frozen at Wapakoneta; with DONAVAN and LONG boys.
WILLIAM CLARK, 623 North Jackson street, falls over at office door of Garford Motor Truck plant; taken to hospital; badly frozen.
MRS. ROSS STUMP, 49, of 903 east Market street; badly burned when she starts fire; may be fatal.
J. P. JENNINGS, 31, of Pontiac, Michigan, United States soldier, driving army truck thru Lima, both hands badly frozen.
JAMES MURPHY, switchman, B. and O. railroad, found in North Yards; feet, hands and face frozen.
W. S. KUNDERT, switchman, B. and O. railroad, found in North Yards, with MURPHY; badly frozen, unconscious; taken to home
Lima Daily News Ohio 1918-01-13
Transcriber's Note: Obviously this blizzard caused havoc to many locations other than Northern Ohio. That is the area this article focused upon.